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100-goal record 'something to tell the grandkids' admits Tom Pope

31 March 2019

Tom Pope scored his 100th goal in a Vale shirt on Saturday afternoon as 10-man Vale overcame Northampton Town 2-1 at the PTS Academy Stadium, and the skipper admits it will be a memory he cherishes for a long time to come.

It certainly wasn't plain sailing in the South of England yesterday afternoon as Vale had to battle back from a goal down with a man deficit for 50 minutes.

Sam Hoskins opened the scoring with five minutes on the clock, before John Askey's day became that much harder whn Leon Legge was dismissed from play merely minutes away from the half-time whistle.

However, David Worrall slotted home on the stroke of half-time to level proceedings, before Pope's second-half penalty secured all three points for the Valiants.

Having now brought up a century in a black and white shirt, Pope joins an exclusive club consisting of just two other men: Wilf Kirkham and Martin Foyle. The captain admits it is an honour to score just one goal for his club, let alone 100.

He said: "It's a great achievement and as I said before, to have scored one goal for the club I've supported was a dream come true - it was all I ever wanted to do.

"To get to 100, I can't put it into words really how much it means. It's one of those things that I will think about in years to come rather than now because we have another game next week and I can't brag about it just yet.

"It's something to tell the grandkids."

Having reflected on the result, Pope urges his Vale team to stay focused until the end of the season and not to get complacent as 'it's never over until it's over'.

Saturday's result lifted the Valiants two places to 19th, now eight points clear of the drop zone. With just six games to go until the end of the season, it is vital Vale take their impressive form in the month of March into the final knockings of the season.

With the derby against Crewe Alexandra this Saturday, Pope is eyeing a league double over their local rivals this weekend.

He said: "Even though you're winning games of football, it's never over until it's over. Any team can lose the last six games of the season, get sucked in and get relegated.

"Another game against Crewe on Saturday, get the three points, chalk it off and go again until it's mathematically certain."

On the Crewe game, Pope continued: "It's a big fixture for the fans. It's one the fans look forward to the most and we've already won at their place so they'll be gunning for revenge.

"If we work hard and show the character that we have today, then there's no reason we can't get the double over them."


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